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Of which proceedings, I find the following verses,” among many more, in a paper lately come to my hand:—
“The making laws for to ensnare the just,
Were these good men, that enacted at the Court of Plymouth,f “That no Quakers, nor persons commonly so called, be enter“tained by any person or persons within this government, under “the penalty of five pounds for every first default, or be whipped. “And that if any ranter or Quaker shall come into any town“ship within this government, and by any person or persons “be known or suspected to be such an one, the persons shall “forthwith acquaint the constable, or his deputy, on pain of “presentment, and so liable to censure in Court, who forthwith “shall diligently endeavour to apprehend them, and command “them to depart out of the township, and this government; and “in case any such person delay or refuse to depart, then the said “constable, or deputy, shall apprehend them, or him, and bring “him, or them, before the magistrate in their township, if there “be any ; and where there is none, to the select-men appointed “by the Court for that purpose, who shall cause him, or them, to “be whipped, or pay five pounds, and then conveyed out of the “township; and the same course to be taken with every of them, “as often as any of them transgress this order. And, forasmuch “as the meeting of such persons proveth to the destruction of the
* G. Joy's Innocency's Complaint. f New England a Degenerate Plant, page 10; New England Ensign, page 30: First month, 1698.
“peace of this government, it is therefore enacted, that hence“forth no such meeting be assembled, or kept by any person, in “any place within this government, under the penalty of forty “shillings a time for every speaker, and ten shillings a time for “every hearer, and forty shillings a time for the owner of the “place, that permits them so to meet together. Forasmuch as “it was ordered at June Court last, that all such as were house“keepers, or at their own dispose, and have not taken the oath “of fidelity to this government, should take the said oath, or to be “fined to the colonies' use, the sum of five pounds; and where“as divers persons refuse to take the said oath, it is therefore “enacted, that every such person or persons shall, every General “Court, be summoned to make their appearance thereat. And “if any such person or persons shall refuse to take the said oath, “shall be fined five pounds, to the colonies' use, that no person, “coming from other parts, be allowed an inhabitant of this “jurisdiction, but by the approbation of the governor, or two “of the magistrates at the least; that if any such person or “persons shall be found that hath not nor will not apply and “approve themselves, so as to procure the approbation of the “governor, &c., that either they depart the government, or else
“that the Court take some course therein.” Were these good men, that appointed select-men to see the innocent whipped P. Which is no other than select whippers; and accordingly Henry Norton being taken up in the streets of Plymouth and imprisoned, when he came before them, with his companion John Rouse, having passed their unjust sentence on them, they were brought to the stocks, and the executioner cruelly laid on them thirty-eight stripes; and Christopher Holder and John Copeland, coming to Sandwich in the same colony, were apprehended by the marshal and constable; and for refusing to depart the colony, they acquainted the select-men of them, and by Barlow, the marshal, was had before Thomas Hinckley, a magis‘trate of Barnstable, who told him, “He knew what to do with them;” who forthwith had them to the post of an old house, where he tied them and gave them thirty-three stripes, with that
cruelty that the beholders cried out against it. This Barlow had been under the terrors of God, as he confessed, for his filthiness with an Indian woman; but now hardened as if his conscience was seared, yet still an officer of their Court, and a member of their church. He came into the house of William Newland in the night without light, after they were in bed, like a robber, going out of one room into another under the pretence of searching for Quakers, and came to the Friends' bedside, asking for Quakers; and when gone out and the door made fast, hath broke it open again; and when the said William complained of the injury, all the remedy he had, he was himself fined twenty shillings; and several Friends in Sandwich being summoned to the Court at Plymouth, to take the oath aforesaid, which they refusing, in obedience to Christ's command, they have fined them five pounds a Court, and to appear every General Court, viz., three times a year, which is fifteen pounds a year for refusing to swear, for which they took from Edward Perry, in cattle, though some not his own, to the value of twenty-seven pounds, and from several others, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and sixteen pounds a-piece; and the said Barlow, having a warrant to search all suspicious places for strangers called Quakers, would come into Friends' meetings, requiring them to move and give way to him, pretending to search the house for strangers; and if they did not, broke out into bitter expressions, pulling some, and thrusting others, threatening to put them in the stocks; yea, hunting in the woods after them, by their footsteps, like a dog for a hare. Were these good men? or, that, being disappointed of their ends, otherwise addressed themselves by petition to the Court, as it is said John Norton” and others did to forward their design of banishment and death, which they were upon. Or, that told our Friends, “There is like to be a law to hang you, if you come again into these parts;” and that, “they should be as ready to take away their lives, as they should be to lay them down;” which at last, after some struggles, they obtained as follows:–
* Popish Inquisition, page 41; New England Ensign, page 97.
After the preamble answered by F. Howgil,” “This Court doth “order and enact, that every person or persons of the accursed “sect of the Quakers, which is not an inhabitant of but is found “within this jurisdiction, shall be apprehended without warrant, “where no magistrate is at hand, by any constable, commissioner, “or select-man, and conveyed from constable to constable, until “they come before the next magistrate, who shall commit the “said person or persons to close prison, there to remain without “bail, until the next Court of Assistants, where they shall have a “legal trial by a special jury;f and being convicted to be of the “sect of the Quakers, shall be sentenced to be banished upon “pain of death; and that every inhabitant of this jurisdiction, “being convicted to be of the aforesaid sect, either by taking up, “publishing, or defending the horrid opinions of the Quakers, or “by taking up their absurd and destructive practices, viz., deny“ing civil respect to equals, and reverence to superiors, and, “instead thereof, frequent private meetings of their own, or by “adhering to or approving of any known Quaker, or condemn“ing the practice of proceeding of this Court against the Quakers, “every such person, upon examination and legal conviction be“fore the said Court of Assistants, shall be committed to close “prison for one month; and then, unless they choose voluntarily “to depart this jurisdiction, shall give bond for their good be“haviour, and appear at the next Court of Assistants, where con“tinuing obstinate and refusing to retract and reform the said “opinions and practices, shall be sentenced to banishment upon “pain of death. And in case of the aforesaid voluntary depart“ure, not to remain nor again to return into this jurisdiction, “without the allowance of the council first had and published, “on penalty of being banished upon pain of death.” Were these good men?
And that accordingly banished, on pain of death, Lawrence Southwick, Cassandra his wife, and Josiah their son, the father and mother to Shelter Island, where they died in a few days one soon after another, leaving their blood upon them, and the son to England with Samuel Shattock, N. Phelps and Joshua Buffum to Rhode Island, all six inhabitants; William Robinson, Marmaduke Stevenson, N. Davis and Mary Dyer, Christopher Holder, William Leddra, Wenlock Christison, foreigners, and Edward Wharton, John Chamberlaine, and R. Harper, more inhabitants, of whom, on their coming again, they sentenced and put to death William Robinson, Marmaduke Stevenson, Mary Dyer, and William Leddra, by hanging them on a tree, and with that despite and with that cruelty as is mentioned in the former treatise, leading them after their barbarous usage in prison to execution, with beating a drum that they might not be heard to speak; a barbarity never heard of in the English nation, as I remember, and sentenced Wenlock Christison, but had not power to put him to death; and more they would, no doubt, had not the king, Charles II., sent to stop their proceedings, of which more in its place. And many other laws and orders I could recite, to the number of about twenty, but they were now come to the top; and why should I trouble the reader or tire myself with any more? I would not be tedious; by these he may judge of all the rest. Of which also the aforesaid G. Joy has the following verses:*—
* Popish Inquisition, page 43; New England a Degenerate Plant, page 6; October 30, 1658.
f Not petty juries as in England.
Those that in conscience cannot wrong a worm
And were these good men? Surely, nay. And if I should ask wherein they were good men? perhaps they will say they were religious; that is, pretended to religion. And so did the greatest persecutors that ever were; as the Jews and Papists, Queen Mary,
* Innocency's Complaint.